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the $100 laptop to launch in the fall

23 July 2007
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the TED blog posted recently that the founder of one laptop per child announced the $100 laptop could be commercially available as early as September 2007. the BBC reported yesterday that the laptop is poised to go into mass production and gives October 2007 as the time when laptops will likely reach children in developing countries.

I’m excited that someone’s idea of bettering the lives of children is finally reaching a tangible point. at the same time, I wonder about the feasibility of giving laptops to children in developing countries. electricity? even with advances in solar- and crank-power options, where will these things get plugged in to get their first full charge that primes optimal battery life? and what about the problem of theft? are the folks at olpc partnering with locally based organizations to aid with distribution?

the global digital divide is serious and perhaps I’m being a bit of a wet blanket (again), but I’m always apprehensive when folks in developed countries come up with “solutions” for developing countries.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 July 2007 3:06 pm

    I agree re. feasibility. There was an interesting article in the NYTimes yesterday about internet (and power) accessibility in Africa. The article directly addresses your concern about the power needed to fuel computers in Africa. Check it out here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/business/yourmoney/22rwanda.html?em&ex=1185249600&en=09011c22623d42f2&ei=5087

  2. audreyd permalink
    24 July 2007 1:56 pm

    People have this romanticized notion of cute rural African or Asian kids changing their lives through laptops. I’m totally skeptical. What about mobile technology? Much easier to set up infrastructure, more accessible and affordable. I think thats a more feasible way of bridging the digital divide. Interesting blog post here: http://movingimages.wordpress.com/2007/06/02/the-rural-romance-lives-on-in-the-ict-age-urban-poor-need-not-apply/

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